Much of money management focuses on investing money to reach a financial goal. You can get low-cost investment management help and still be your own money manager. Here’s your basic guide to investing and money management on a budget.
As a financial planner I worked with people who needed help with money management, acting as their personal guide to investing. The first step in the financial planning process was to establish financial goals and to get a handle on the client’s financial position in terms of income, assets, liabilities and risk tolerance. Then we’d set an appointment where I would come back and make recommendations… usually in regard to investing money to reach their financial goals. In the simplest terms, I got paid if and when people decided to invest money with me. I didn’t work for free; at least not most of the time.
Most people have the same primary long-term financial goal: a secure retirement. Whether you are young or older, this requires good money management and translates to investing money. If you don’t want to trust and pay a financial planner you can take charge of your own money management by defining your own goals and taking an inventory of what you have to work with. Then, you’ll likely need some help with the investment management end of things. This you can do the hard way like most folks do… or the easy way like I’m about to explain in this basic guide to investing.
Most people invest money in a number of places: scattered around in banks, with insurance agents, stock brokers, and other securities salesmen. They get confused and lose control over their investment management; and often pay high commissions and fees in the process. There’s a better way to do this and save money at the same time. Open an account(s) with one or two no-load mutual fund companies. As a general guide to investing: there are mutual funds to fit just about any investing need. Here’s how investing money in no-load funds (no sales charges or commissions) works.
When you invest money in these funds you do the money management by picking which funds to invest in. The mutual fund company does the investment management according to each fund’s financial objectives. You act as your own money manager by matching your goals or objectives to the appropriate type of fund and account. For example, let’s say want to invest money for retirement with a tax break. You can open an IRA account and invest in both stock funds and bond funds. Or, you are retired and want to consolidate money from a few different retirement plans. In this case you can do a rollover to a no-load mutual fund company IRA.
Within your mutual fund accounts you can invest for safety, or for higher interest income, or for the higher potential profits that stock funds offer. Investing money doesn’t get much easier, and investment management doesn’t get much cheaper. Your total cost of investing can be less than 1% a year, with no commissions or sales charges.